Know How

How to set up a tubeless tires on road or gravel bikes

Setting up a tire tubeless allows you to run it without an inner tube. This popular system offers many advantages: lower weight, more puncture-resistance and better grip. We are going to show you how easy this process is and promise you’ll get it done without any of the mess.

There really is no cheaper, easier and more effective upgrade for your bike than setting up your wheels tubeless. However many people still seem to prefer using inner tubes, often because they dread the installation process. We’ll show you how easy it can be and promise you won’t cover your living room in tire sealant. You won’t even have to buy an air compressor!


  • Easy

Required tools

  • Tires
  • Pump
  • Sealant
  • Valve cores
  • Valve core remover
  • Tire levers (if necessary)


Before setting up your tires tubeless you have to make sure both your rims and tires are tubeless-ready. Good news is, most current tire and rim models are. If your rims are older you’ll have to use a special tubeless tape. In this tutorial we didn’t have to.

Crucial. For a successful setup you’ll have to use a rim sealing-tape.
Insert the valve stem into the rim and tighten the valve nut. Depending on the rim model you may have to use a seal ring.
Putting a little pressure on the bottom of valve-stem (the part that sits inside the rim) helps it seal properly.
Attention! Only tighten the valve-nut by hand and NEVER use pliers. If you do, the nut will be too tight and you won’t be able to remove it by hand in the event of a roadside breakdown.
Before mounting the tire onto the rim, check the rotation arrow. If you get this wrong you’ll have to start all-over again.
Sit the rim into the tire and place the first side of the tire into the rim.
TIP: real pros match the tire logo with the rim-decals.
Now push the tire bead into the rim using both hands at the same time. Rest the wheel between your thighs or on the floor to push the tire deep into the rim.
IMPORTANT! Push the tire into the rim starting opposite the valve. This trick allows you to push the tire deeper into the rim bed and makes the whole installation process easier.
The closer you get to the valve, the harder it will be to push the tire over the rim. It’s important that on the opposite end the tire always sits in the deepest part of the rim. If you really struggle with the last bit you can use a tire lever. Tubeless especially can be a tight fit. This makes the installation a little bit harder compared to a normal clincher.
Now remove the valve core with a core remover. Give the sealant bottle a good shake and pour the sealant into the tire. Remember, in this case more is more! If you save on sealant, you’re saving in the wrong place… and compromising on puncture protection. We recommend using 30-45 ml of sealant per wheel, depending on the width of the tire. You can also inject the sealant directly through the valve-stem using a thin nozzle. Find all details at the end of this tutorial.

Now, using both hands to press the whole tire into the rim. To keep the tire deep in the rim bed, you can place the wheel on your thighs or on the floor. The closer you get to the valve, the harder it will get. If you struggle to pull the last bit of tire over the rim, use tire levers –real pros, however, do this with their bare hands! If you use a tire lever, make sure the tire doesn’t pop off the rim on the opposite side.

Use a tubeless-specific floor-pump with an additional pressure-chamber to inflate your tire. Place the connector onto the valve and isolate the reservoir and pump up the reservoir up to 8-9 Bar.
Let’s go! Turn the reservoir-dial to release the compressed air from the reservoir into the tire. Afterwards inflate the tire to approximately 8 to 9 bar to seat the tire beads.
Click, clack, click, clack– that’s what you want to hear when pumping up a tubeless tire – it’s the tire beads snapping into the rim bead.
Important: every tire has a “witness line”. This line should be sitting evenly on the rim throughout its circumference when the tire is pumped up.
Now you want the tire sealant to spread evenly inside the wheel. Bounce the tire on the floor to help it move around and allow the sealant to glide along the sidewalls by shaking and tilting the wheel at different angles.

Job done!

If you did everything right your tire should be sitting nicely on the rim – and without any of the mess! If that’s not the case, here are a few more tips.

3 handy tips to set up a stubborn tire

If the tire doesn’t snap into the bead lock when you pump it up these three hacks might help:

  • Pump up the tire WITHOUT the valve core to increase airflow — this system works miracles. When removing the pump insert the valve core straight away to prevent the air from coming out.
  • Rub some Schwalbe Easy-Fit (or just some soapy water) into the sidewalls. This helps the tire to slip and snap into the rim bead.
  • Use a tubeless inflator. There are a wide range of different models available on the market, but the idea is always the same: filling up a high-pressure air reservoir, and then releasing all of the pressure at once to pump up the tire.

With particularly stubborn tires we recommend a combination of all three of the above.

Adding sealant through the valve stem:

  1. Install the tire on the rim completely.
  2. Remove the valve-core with the core-tool.
  3. … and inject the sealant through the valve-stem. Remember, in this case more is more! If you save on sealant, you’re saving in the wrong place and compromising on puncture protection. We recommend using 30-45 ml of sealant per wheel, depending on width of the tire. Be aware! Some sealants can’t be injected through the valve stem, please check your manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Place the valve-core into the stem and tighten it.
  5. And… pump it up! Inflate your tire with fast pump strokes.

Important sealant advice

  • Not every tire sealant agrees with CO2 cartridges. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If you use latex-based tire sealant you should change it regularly. After a while those sealants create lumps inside the tire and the remaining liquid will no longer seal properly. Some brands also offer latex-free tire sealant.

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Words: Christoph Bayer, Manuel Buck Photos: Valentin Rühl